Inherited Roth IRA

If you inherit a Roth IRA, there is a tax advantage to not liquidating the full amount. If you take only the RMD (required minimum distribution) before Dec 31 of the following year after death, then you can "stretch" out the distributions over your expected life span, thus greatly reducing any taxes.

For example, a 50 year old has a life expectancy of 34.2 years, so you would divide the value of the Roth IRA, at time of death, by 34.2. That is the amount of Roth IRA that is under RMD. The remainder each year thereafter is divided by the original life expectancy minus one. As you can see, this would stretch the Roth IRA to the life span of the beneficiary, thus drastically reducing the taxes on the distributions.

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